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article imageFormer Ted Kennedy staffer gets 20 months for embezzlement

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 1, 2012 in Crime
Washington - The late senator's office manager is the latest political aide to be sent to jail for stealing money from the government.
On Friday, Ngozi Pole, of Waldorf, Md., appeared before U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the District of Columbia for sentencing. In addition to a 20 month jail term, Pole was required to be on supervised release for a period of three years, ordered to perform 500 hours of community service, and make restitution to the United States Senate in the amount of $77,608.86.
On Dec. 15, 2009, Pole, who worked as Ted Kennedy's office manager, was indicted [PDF] by a grand jury in Washington on five counts of wire fraud and one count of theft from the government. The indictment alleged that while working for the late senator, he caused the Senate to pay him more in salary and bonuses than were authorized either by Kennedy or his chief of staff. The jury also found he submitted fraudulent documentation to the Senate that showed the excess payments had been authorized.
After a week long trial, a jury convicted Pole of all counts on Feb. 1, 2011. They found Pole had embezzled approximately $75,000 from the government between 2003 and 2007. The convicted former office manager faced up to 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine for each count of wire fraud and 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine for the count of theft of government property.
After Pole was found guilty by the jury, Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, said, Today a federal jury found Mr. Pole guilty of using his position as a Congressional staffer to steal more than $75,000 of government money. Employees of Congress are entrusted with performing their duties honestly and ethically. While hundreds of them live up to that important duty every day, we will, as today's verdict shows, hold accountable those few who use their positions to illegally enrich themselves.
After being convicted, Pole remained free on bail until he was sentenced.
As pointed out by the Washington Post, Pole was not unique when it came to theft by Congressional staffers. Between May 2008 and February 2011, former political aides to Rep. Jane Harman, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and the former treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee have all been sentenced to jail for stealing amounts between $7,000 and $844,000.
More about ngozi pole, sen ted kennedy, government embezzlement, us department of justice
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